Houghton Street Ventures | January 2023 | Community Newsletter
Welcome back to the Houghton Street Ventures Community newsletter, our monthly update on what’s happening within the LSE startup and venture ecosystem. The New Year is off to a flying start for us, we have a handful of exciting deals to close over the next few months, and today we’re sharing more about one of the first companies we invested in - Raylo. A later-stage LSE company funding round that we participated in last summer via an SPV.
If you’re interested to learn more about Houghton Street Ventures as either a founder, investor, or with any other hat on, we’d love to hear from you. Or if you have ideas about future content or collaborations, just hit reply!
Why we invested in Raylo...
In the UK alone, there are over 50 million used mobile phones collecting dust in drawers. Globally, 40 million tonnes of electronic waste are generated annually – that's 800 laptops dumped into landfills every second! On average, consumer technology is only used for 40% of its intended lifespan, resulting in billions of dollars wasted and billions of tonnes of unnecessary CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere.
The current lifecycle of consumer electronics is unsustainable. Raylo is revolutionising how we access and dispose of our tech with its subscription-based consumer electronics business. Customers can get the devices they want at lower prices and with superior customer service, without having to own them. When it's time to upgrade, old devices are refurbished and given a further lease of life with another customer.
More recently, Raylo introduced their white-labelled solution to the market: Raylo Pay. The SaaS product enables any electronics retailer to enter the circular economy with the ability to lease their electronic goods to customers; all managed by Raylo’s payments, financing and device lifecycle infrastructure. Raylo equips retailers with the tools to challenge incumbent BNPL providers and offer more ethical and environmental payment options whilst maintaining financial inclusion.
Community News & Updates
Houghton Street Ventures
We're preparing for the 2023 LSE Startup Careers Fair with LSE Generate & the LSE Entrepreneurship Society. After the success of last year's inaugural event, we're going bigger than ever, expecting more than 600 students and alumni and 20 rapidly growing LSE startups and scale-ups who are searching for their next hires. If you're a startup and interested to exhibit, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org otherwise here's the link to sign up as an attendee.
Hannah, one of our partners, was featured in a report by Bain & Co discussing the challenges companies face when measuring environmental impact through current ESG frameworks and how to effectively evaluate success through the lens of sustainability
At the LSE
LSE Generate held a founder retreat at the Birch, just outside of London. We had some fantastic speakers and experts including Julien Callede, co-founder of Made.com, Malcolm Bell, Founder of Saint & Sofia, and Niama El Bassunie, founder of WaystoCap. We invited many of the early-stage companies we are working closely with: Flare, Littlewine, Dalstons, Simba Health, Shappy
Climate Alpha - founded by Dr Parag Khanna - raised a $4m Seed round from Jungle Ventures
Sprinque - founded by Mark Holleman - raised a $6m Seed round from Connect Ventures & Force Over Mass
Melonfrost - founded by Luc Harrigan - raised a $7m Seed round from Refractor Capital
Inflow - founded by Levi Epstein - raised a $11m Series A from Octopus Ventures & Hoxton Ventures
In the News
LSE alum, Hanzade Dogan, featured at the World Economic Forum, discussing how we should progress with care when investing in artificial intelligence
Raylo featured in TechCrunch announcing its $136m fundraise to build out its electronics lease-and-reuse fintech platform, and propel growth of their new B2B SaaS Raylo Pay product with leading retailers
Meet the team
The new year means travel is back on the agenda, the team will be in:
Munich - 13th to 17th February - Adam is giving a keynote speech to founders at the AI demo day in Heilbronn
Frankfurt - 23rd to 25th February
New York - 2nd to 12th March - as part of VentureESG Hannah is holding an event with the World Economic Forum on ESG as well as meeting with LPs
If our paths cross, we’d love to meet and catch up, let us know!
Veronika, Hannah, Adam & David
The Houghton Street Ventures Team